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What Birds To Expect This Month PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
May 01, 2017 at 12:00 PM


                                                        *  J U N E  *   

(Photo credits and descriptions of photos can be seen by "mousing over" each photo. )

The Blackpoll Warbler, a late migrant, may be seen into June as the species continues to trickle through. Photo by Ian Dickinson of BellevilleBy and large, the spring warbler migration is all but over by the end of May. Despite how the month started out with near zero Celsius temperatures at night, and even snow flurries, May was a good month – a few good days, but no spectacular fallouts, although there was a steady procession of warblers right through the month. A few of the late migrant species continue to appear into early June including BLACKPOLL WARBLER (photo by Ian Dickinson of Belleville), WILSON’S WARBLER and MOURNING WARBLER, but these typically later migrants were already beginning to show up in mid-May this spring. . A few species of shorebirds will continue migrating through the County including late migrating species such as SANDERLINGS that will also be observed still passing through in early June.
As we enter the month of June, we can safely assume that most resident species are already well into nesting. Some, like the EASTERN PHOEBE, AMERICAN ROBIN and SONG SPARROW that may have nested in April, will move into their second brood of the season. Meanwhile, the young of other early nesters such as the GREAT HORNED OWL may still be occupied with household chores in June.
Both May and June are busy months for birds, and for some species, activity is at its highest ebb as parents mark out their territory by song, defend their nests, and feed their young. The presence of predators or some other perceived danger will send most birds into a variety of defensive actions as they either defend their nest or attempt to lure intruders away. The confusing calls of young birds will fill the air in June as young AMERICAN ROBINS, COMMON GRACKLES and BALTIMORE ORIOLES, although out of the nest, continue to beg for food and train their voices.
Is it a Willow Flycatcher, or is it the identical Alder Flycatcher? Listen to its song to find out. Photo by Garry Kirsch of BellevilleAMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, however, wait until the thistle down ripens before they give much serious thought to nesting worries. Until then, they continue to travel around in loose carefree flocks, bounding through the air like miniature roller coasters. Keep your niger and sunflower seed feeders well stocked for they will visit them often during this time of the year.
Meanwhile the similar calls of the ALDER FLYCATCHER and WILLOW FLYCATCHER (photo by Garry Kirsch of Belleville) will continue to try the patience of new birders. Learn their songs, as that, and often their choice of habitat, are the only sure ways of separating them in the field. Some birds, although melting into the dense growth at this time of the year, are relatively easy to identify by song. The OVENBIRD’S “cher-tee, cher-tee, cher-TEE, CHER-TEE” with rising inflection will identify this species as we walk the woodland trails at this time of the year; similarly the rich flute-like notes followed by a little trill or slur at the end pinpoints the location of the WOOD THRUSH. When in the field, make attempts at putting words to their songs as a way to remember them when heard again. The “drink-your tea-a-a” of the EASTERN TOWHEE, the “whitchety, whitchety, whitchety” of the COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, or the “Maids, maids, put on your tea, kettle, kettle, kettle” of the SONG SPARROW. Warbling vireos become easy to learn if you think of their fast paced spiralling song as saying, “If I had it, I would squeeze it, if I squeezed it, it would SQUIRT!” Sometimes the songs may be rude, or make little sense, but it is one sure way of remembering them.
The Lakeview Trail can be a prolific spot to look for birds in June. Photo by Terry SpragueSome key areas to continue looking for birds in June are Prince Edward Point, Point Petre and Sandbanks Provincial Park. And while at Sandbanks, keep an eye on West Point, the tiny rocky peninsula that juts out into Lake Ontario from the base of the sand dunes, on Lakeshore Lodge Road. The new LAKEVIEW TRAIL (photo by Terry Sprague) there that meanders through a deciduous woods and on out into some meadows is always a pleasure to experience. These little out of the way places can still offer surprises.
Above all, don't put away your binoculars yet. There is still considerable bird activity to take in during the month of June. Enjoy!
The NatureStuff website uploads a daily bird report, based on what has been posted on eBird and sightings that come in from around the area by e-mail. While the Bird Report concentrates on the immediate Hastings and Prince Edward County areas, the Bird Report has been reformatted this year to accommodate Northumberland, Lennox and Addington and Frontenac County sightings as well. The Daily Bird Report has become an extremely popular item on the NatureStuff website and always ends the season with WELL over 30,000 hits! To see the daily bird report, CLICK HERE.
You can e-mail me with your sightings right from this LINK.

(Photo credits and descriptions of photos can be seen by "mousing over" each photo. )


Last Updated ( May 26, 2017 at 11:29 AM )
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May 26, 2017 6:45 pm